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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

Veterans Day is One of My Favorite Days

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   Valentines Day is nice. Everybody likes Thanksgiving.  And who doesn't like Christmas or Channukah? And don't get me wrong, I like all those holidays. I love me some turkey. Gifts are fun. But when it comes to days that hit me in the heart Veteran's Day is right at the top of the list.

   My paternal grandfather was in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  He was on the USS Honolulu when bombs fell through the ship's decks.  One of the amazing things about that day was that he had dropped off letters for my grandma at the ship post office.  Days later she got those letters and they were postmarked December 7, 1941... 9:30am... the USS Honolulu. That means the ship had already been hit, yet a sailor in the post office continued to do his job   I can't imagine the fear my grandpa must have felt as the planes flew overhead and bombs dropped from their cargo bay. I'm amazed at the courage and sense of duty he showed as he manned his station and did what he was trained to do.

   My maternal grandfather was a paratrooper in the army. He got in just after World War Two. He is one of my heroes. He is brave and dignified and humble. Can you imagine the courage it takes to jump from an airplane? And this was 60 years ago when paratrooping was dangerous and uncertain. But my grandpa did it because he believes in America. he believes in serving. he believes in doing his part.

   I am so proud of my grandpas.  I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our vets. From World War Two vets to those who served in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, South Korea, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan and all countries in between, you are all heroes. Thank you.

   Think about today's vets.. the ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places around the world. THEY ARE PART OF A VOLUNTEER FORCE. There is not a draft. Young men and women aren't forced to do a stint. Those men and women who don the uniform, do it freely.  They do it with great risk of injury or death. Especially in today's world climate, it is extremely dangerous.  The world is a lot different place than it was 20 years ago. Now those signing up are almost guaranteed to spend time in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is overwhelmingly dangerous, yet they choose to do it.

   Thank you veterans. Thank you for your bravery. thank you for your selflessness. I also want to thank your family. They stay out of the way as you serve and protect the rest of us. They sacrifice and worry and make do, while you take care of the rest of us. Thank you!  Thank you!!  Thank you!!!

 

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